Actually, it depends on what you mean by "binder." In Fairfield County, the various towns have their own customs regarding an offer to purchase. In New Canaan, we use what's called a Memorandum of Terms/Sale, a non-binding form that clearly states the final terms and price agreed upon through your verbal or written offer. The contract is then written from this Memo. The Memo provides necessary information for the seller's attorney such as names and addresses of all parties, the price and contingencies, the contract and inspection dates, when you will close, the amount of mortgage the buyer is seeking, etc. I would not recommend going without this form as there are too many things that can be misinterpreted and I always recommend a paper trail. Neither the buyer nor the seller typically signs the Memo in New Canaan.
In Darien, a Binder of Sale is common, and this is usually signed by both buyer and seller. However, most agents cross off the "binding" language on the form at the suggestion of many attorneys.
In other Fairfield County towns and cities, an Offer to Purchase Form is standard, and both the buyer and seller sign it.
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William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty
New Canaan, CT 06840